Where to Spend the Chinese New Year in China

Otherwise known as the Spring Festival in China, the Chinese New Year takes place at the end of January or beginning of February, depending on when the lunar calendar ends that year. The Spring Festival is one of the biggest events in the Chinese calendar and holds many customs and traditions that are carried out all over the country; here is a guide to the Chinese New Year and where best to spend it, should you be lucky enough to get to visit the country during the festivities.

The history

The Spring Festival is the longest event in the Chinese calendar, running for 15 days between the last day of the lunar calendar until the 15th of its first new month. Otherwise known as the Lantern Festival, it traditionally acts as an honour to the country's deities and ancestors.

A number of traditions are still carried out throughout the festival, including the giving of red envelopes to children by the elderly and married couples containing money, which are said to ward off evil for that child.


The country's capital is one of the best places in the world to spend the Chinese holiday. Dragon and lion dances are performed throughout the city and people come together to feast on traditional cuisine. The Temple Fair also occurs in Beijing, when the city's temples and parks open their gates to carnivals and festivities.

Hong Kong

The fireworks during the Chinese New Year in Hong Kong are world renowned and celebrate a time for family; whilst many local families live apart due to work commitments, the Spring Festival brings them together in one huge celebration. Victoria Harbour usually provides the best display with one long, loud round of fireworks.


The Lantern Festival is the last day of the festivities and is best celebrated in Shanghai, where an endless view of coloured lanterns line the city accompanied by dancing, music and tasty treats. There is plenty of street food to enjoy, from grilled spicy squid to tangyuan - a traditional sweet of sticky sweet balls of rice flour.

The Great Wall of China

The country's most iconic landmark is always a popular destination during the Spring Festival and is often busy with visitors to China, as well as locals. There are many ways of getting to the Great Wall, and a number of touring operators include this trip as a part of their Chinese New Year tours, but there are also direct buses and trains to the prominent landmark.

Visit the 5 Best Museums in Paris

Paris is one of the most beautiful cities in the world. It is packed full of world-class attractions including incredible architecture and engineering like the Notre Dame and the Eiffel Tower. It also has some incredible museums, which are among the best in the world. After you arrange a Charles de Gaulle airport shuttle transfer in to the city, here are some of the best museums to check out during your stay here. They're all worth visiting whatever the weather, but they make particularly good rainy day attractions.

1. Musée d'Orsay 
This popular museum displays thousands of works of art including paintings, furniture, photographs, sculptures and more. There are over 6,000 pieces in the collection, including over 2,500 paintings from masters like Monet, Renoir, Cézanne, Van Gogh and Gauguin. Indeed, the collection of Impressionist and post-Impressionist works is one of the best in the world. You'll find it on the Seine River housed in an old railway station, and you'll probably pass by it on your Charles de Gaulle airport shuttle ride.

2. Palais de la Découverte 
The Palace of Discovery is a fantastic science museum housed in the Grand Palais on Avenue Franklin Delano Roosevelt. It is a fun attraction for the kids, but it's also good for adults, and it provides a fun way to find out more about science. Make sure you also visit the planetarium when you are here.

3. Musée du Louvre 
The Louvre is one of the most famous museums in the world. You could spend an entire day wandering through this huge museum of art from all over the world. There are almost 35,000 artefacts in the collection, including the most famous painting in the world, the Mona Lisa. Once you have settled into your accommodation following your Charles de Gaulle airport shuttle, make a beeline for this excellent attraction.

4. Musée Grévin 
This waxwork museum is one of the oldest of its kind in Europe. You'll find over 300 characters here represented in wax, including various famous people from history and more modern celebrities like Michael Jackson and Elvis Presley. It's great for the kids, who will also love visiting the Hall of Mirrors to see the sound-and-light show.

5. Muséum National d'Histoire Naturelle 
The Natural History Museum of Paris is one of the best you will ever see. Explore the huge collection spanning geology, palaeontology, anatomy, evolution and more. Afterwards, make sure you visit the Jardin des Plantes, which dates back to 1626 when it was a royal garden. The Grand Gallery of Evolution is particularly interesting.

See the Best Museums in Paris 
These are just some of the best museums to see during your time in Paris once you've arrived on the Charles de Gaulle airport shuttle. Take your pick of the above museums if any of them stand out to you in particular, or see them all if you've got time.

Geneva - A City of Surprising Attractions

OK, it might be asking too much of you to suggest you should look forward with eager anticipation to your Geneva airport ski transfers. At best you probably regard that stage of your journey as a hurdle to be overcome to get you to the slopes that bit faster, or perhaps on the return journey, back home as soon as possible.

Understandable as that is, there might be an opportunity inherent in such transfers - and that is the chance to stop over and have a look around this great city.

A sleepy backwater?

Although some people believe Geneva is the capital of Switzerland, it isn't - that honour falls to Berne. Perhaps even more commonplace is the rather odd myth that the city is something of a quiet backwater frequented by civil servants and politicians. That is a view that's harder to dispel because it's so engrained in popular assumption - but in fact the city is anything but grey.

It's an ancient city that has existed for millennia. It is surrounded by beautiful scenery and sits on the world-famous lake of the same name. So, if you're looking for lovely architecture against a picturesque backdrop, you'll be off to a great start here.

Nor is everything staid. If you doubt that, try the part of town known as "Les Pâquis". It's a multi-ethic location packed full of bars, clubs and restaurants and has a certain avant-garde culture. Whatever else you might find it, 'boring' is unlikely to be one adjective that springs to mind!

Looking around

This city is located at one of the great historic cross roads of Europe and that means it has many historic and cultural legacies donated from elsewhere. Many of those were unwanted gifts at the time, courtesy of conquest or invasion, but today the city benefits from that richness.

Taking a few days to stay over on route with Geneva airport ski transfers will give you the chance to explore some of that history and associated sights including:

• Carouge - a very charming little town close to the centre and a great focus for the arts and crafts; 
• The English Garden and Flower Clock - world-famous blooms and the clock has a second hand which, at 2.5metres long, is reputed to be the longest in the world, 
• The Reformation Wall - dedicated to the key figures of the reformation in Geneva and well worth seeing; 
• The water jet - no explanation is required but this is an impressive sight and not to be missed; 
• Museum of Patek Philippe - a stunning illustration of ancient horology and watch-making, including those made in more recent times by Patek who are widely regarded as being one of the world's most prestigious watchmakers.

This is just a very brief sample of the city's attractions and there are simply piles more to take in. So, instead of regarding Geneva airport ski transfers as a chore or a means to an end, why not see them as an opportunity?